Queen to attend National Assembly for Wales session opening


The Queen will attend the opening of the Fifth Session of the National Assembly for Wales at the Senedd.

She will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall for the visit.

A 21-gun salute will be fired at Cardiff Pierhead when the royal train arrives at Cardiff Central Station. 

The Welsh and National anthems will be played and a royal salute given as the Queen reaches the main entrance to the Senedd building.

A guard of honour will be in position in front of the Senedd, where the Queen will proceed through Y Nueadd to the Siambr.

The formal opening ceremony will include a performance by the National Youth Choir of Wales and a student will read a specially commissioned poem.

The Queen will give a speech and sign a commemorative parchment, with the First Minister Carwyn Jones responding.

Following the opening, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will open Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre.

They will be given a tour of the £44 million centre, which houses a combination of neuroimaging equipment that is unique in Europe.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said he was delighted to welcome the royal visitors.

"It's an honour for the University and highlights the significance of the outstanding facilities here, including a specially adapted MRI scanner found in only one other location in the world," Prof Riordan said.

"Our work is of global importance as we seek to provide insights into brain disorders that will lead to the development of better treatments."

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will also attend a reception for Assembly members who will have been at the opening of the Senedd.

Outside the Wales Millennium Centre they will view an artistic installation of a field of poppies to commemorate Welsh soldiers killed in the First World War.

The installation is to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and has been created to coincide the the performance of a new Welsh National Opera production.

The production, In Parenthesis, tells the story of the battle in which 19,240 British soldiers died on the first day - July 1 1916.